print version link (opens new window) Science in Islam

Introduction & Astronomy

The spread of Islam stimulated the development of a wide range of science and technology founded upon a legacy from the ancient world.
This exhibition brings together a number of objects of Islamic origin that provide insight into some of the achievements of Islamic science.


Introduction

Introduction

'His throne comprises the heavens and earth'

'His throne comprises the heavens and earth'

Qur'an, II, 256

FFor Muslims the Qur'an establishes God's Law and reveals the true nature of reality. It is said to contain all knowledge and thus the acquisition of knowledge is seen as a religious act.

Muslim scholars did not separate areas of learning such as medicine, mathematics and literature; instead, each was regarded as a single part of a unified whole truth.

Related objects:

Inv Num. 44790 - Celestial GlobeCelestial Globe
Inv Num. 45247 - Celestial GlobeCelestial Globe

Astronomy

Astronomy

AAstronomy and mathematics enjoyed a privleged status in the hierarchy of Islamic sciences providing insight into the divinely inspired nature of the universe as well as solutions to everyday practical problems.

Related objects:

Inv Num. 37530 - AstrolabeAstrolabe
Inv Num. 48213 - Astrolabe with Geared CalendarAstrolabe with Geared Calendar

Page last modified: 05 February 2013

The Bedouin tribes had navigated the deserts by observing the stars, and astronomical tables from Persia and India were translated into Arabic along with Ptolemy's Almagest and other significant Greek texts

Muslim astronomers established large observatories and developed instruments such as the astrolabe to a high degree of accuracy and sophistication. Astronomical data was essential to establish the Muslim calendar, based on lunar cycles, and the dates of religious festivals.

Islam Astrolabe Poems image

Whipple Museum of History of Science,
University of Cambridge

Print version of http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/scienceislam/index.php? on 24th Oct 2014, 17:05:16 (BST)